[Watch video interview] Dr Gan Quan, Director of #Tobacco Control at International Union Against #Tuberculosis
and Lung Disease (The Union), is in conversation with CNS Managing
Editor Shobha Shukla, at the 4th Summit of APCAT (Asia Pacific Cities
Alliance for Tobacco Control and #NCDs Prevention), which was held in #Bogor, #Indonesia.
He shares insights on why platforms like APCAT are important to bring
local leaders on one platform to share local actions to control tobacco
and prevent NCDs as well as to share how they are countering tobacco #industry interference in #PublicHealth
policy. Some cities like Balanga City have been sued by the tobacco
industry - which is important for other cities to look in and deliberate
on how can they more effectively counter the tobacco industry.
For countries like India and China, one of the major challenges is the
influence of tobacco industry at national or federal level making it
more difficult to pass any strong tobacco control policy. Whereas
influence of industry is much less strong at state, city or local level.
Implementation at local level is so key. In #India it is implementation of Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003, in #China it is smoke-free laws, and in Indonesia, it is smoke-free and ban on tobacco #advertising,
promotion and sponsorship, it is really the local action, local
enforcement, and local movements, which have been the highlight. In Dr
Gan Quan's opinion this has been one of the major factors that have
driven down the smoking rates in these three countries.
30% reduction of tobacco use by 2030 compared to 2015 is an ambitious
target for governments as we are dealing with very addictive product,
with very strong industry behind it. If we look back on progress we have
made, it is not a very easy problem to solve.